Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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345. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide details on the number of apprenticeship places offered by local authorities; his views on increasing the number of apprenticeships offered by local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17398/22]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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A number of local authorities throughout the country employ apprentices, with around 50 apprentices currently employed by these bodies. The majority of the apprentices are employed in craft trades such as plumbing, carpentry and joinery, and electrical. A number are also employed in consortia programmes such as accounting technician and cyber security.

A key commitment of the ‘Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025’ is to grow the number of apprenticeship registrations across the public service, including local authorities, to reach 750 annual registrations by 2025. This represents in excess of a seven-fold increase on 2020 registrations and will support a long-term goal of 7% of the apprentice population being employed by public service employers.

The diversity of the public service in terms of service delivery provides a wide basis for involvement with the range of existing apprenticeships and those programmes in development. Apprenticeship provides an opportunity to target and widen the recruitment pool for both generalist and specialist roles within the public service.

My Department’s officials have undertaken a number of actions in order to make progress towards achieving this commitment:

1. Several general and sector-focused information sessions on apprenticeship were held, includingone for local authorities.

2. A Working Group has been established, representing Government Departments and local authorities, to develop a Public Service Apprenticeship Recruitment Plan by summer 2022. The Group’s work will be based on surveying organisations in relation to their skills needs. The content, level and duration of public service apprenticeships will be determined by the identified skills needs

3. More specifically, there has been extensive bilateral engagement with the LGMA, to assist with surveying local authorities in relation to their skills needs.

Over 100 public service organisations have now been surveyed and the results are currently being analysed.

The survey results will inform the development of the Public Service Apprenticeship Recruitment Plan, with the content, level, and duration of public service apprenticeships determined by these identified skills needs.


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